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Might Have Missed List (01/30/11)

MUST READ: MPA Political, LLC  — Unconventional Wisdom: Events

As I looked back on 2010 and saw the great big failures, they troubled me.  Messaging failures, generally unprepared or unqualified campaign staff, candidates unwilling to learn, listen and/or improve, and of course strategies that were designed to fail from the start…  But then there was a feeling of downright anger.  How the hell can Democratic campaigns fail so often at the very basics of setting up an event?  Does no one teach this stuff anymore?  Do people not learn from event to event?  Do they not see the big greasy piles of fail due to some form of rose colored glasses?

. . .

You should visit and walk the venue, take pictures.  Think about where attendees with enter, where they will gather, will there be food/drinks somewhere drawing the mingling crowd?  How many chairs will there be, how will they be arranged, where will the walkways be?  Are there tables?  Sketch these things out as best you can.

Where will the candidate enter the room?  Will the candidate have access to a “green room”, or a restroom, prior to entering the venue?  When they enter, will they be overwhelmed with the crowd as they enter?  Who will walk the candidate in, meet the candidate at the car/bus?  Will someone be introducing the candidate to the attendees as they mingle?  Will the candidate be going straight to the “stage” upon entering to speak, and straight out after speaking?  How will they enter and exit?

The Eloquent Woman — 5 things speakers should ask the meeting planner

Identify room setup. You should ask questions about the room setup, for instance, will you will be behind a podium, or on a panel? If on a panel, will there be seating behind a table or in separate chairs? If chairs, what kind? This may sound rather anal; however, I’ve seen many presenters on panels who did not know they would be sitting in director’s chairs. If you’re a female in a skirt that happens to be too short or doesn’t easily move when you sit down, this could be rather uncomfortable and potentially give the audience a bit too much to see. Or if your preference is to appear behind a podium and organizers expect you to roam the stage in delivering your remarks, it’s probably best to know that before you arrive.

To allow AV or No AV…that’s an important question. Have you ever showed up with PowerPoint in hand only to learn that there’s no equipment for such use? It may happen more often than you think. Finding out the overall format of the presentation is critical as well as allowances for audio visual equipment, including internet access. Sometimes lack of AV could be a budgetary consideration. At other times, it simply may not suit the program. Make sure to ask about it.

The Official join.me Blog — Darth Vader Was Not Invited To The Conference Call

Your dog is not invited.

Sure, I like dogs. Who doesn’t? But we did not invite your dog to the conference call. So if you’re taking this call from home, then make sure your dog isn’t in the room. Because dogs are unpredictable, and before you know it they are barking and the call is ruined. Don’t make your dog my problem.

Elevator pitch?

Here’s a good example of Principle #2: Any rational response to “What’s the worse that can happen?” is most likely wrong.

I was meeting my prospective client on the 37th floor. The elevator was crowded, but by the time we got close to my floor, I was the last person on. I had a weird feeling. Then the lights went out and the thing started dropping. The elevator stopped after it went down about 10 floors, and the doors opened and I got out.

People were milling around and I was told there was a malfunction. No kidding. Apparently, a fire alarm was triggered, and that was supposed to send the elevators down at a slow pace. This one just happened to drop more quickly.

I got back on the elevator, believe it or not, and went to my appointment to make my presentation. I didn’t tell the prospective client what happened, but he could tell something was wrong. I eventually did get his business. (Full story on NY Times)

Hat tip to Denise Graveline of The Eloquent Woman

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (07/13/08)

Nicholas Bate: 9 Things Not to Say in your Presentation — Brilliant.

The Eloquent Woman: testing the kindle on the lectern — “Here’s what I learned about what you should expect when using this new device in a live setting, from preparatory steps to actual use.”

Speak Schmeak: When audience members attack — “Do you ever feel like an audience member is attacking you when they ask challenging questions during your presentation?”

Linkedin Answers: Care to share your most embarrassing, awkward, or unusual speaking experience?

Law.com: Peaks and Valleys of PowerPoint Presentation — “What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made (or seen) in a presentation using Microsoft’s PowerPoint?”

Corporate Presenter: TV Presenters and animals — “Ouch!”

Presenter Gold: White Death on the Podium — “And yet in a presentation situation, many of us put black text on white screens. I want you to think for a moment about what that’s doing to the audience. It’s been described as trying to read the lettering on a switched-on light bulb.”

Live Musician Central: Settle Your Nerves – Dealing With Stage Fright — “I’ve played with guys that were throwing up before every gig because they got so nervous.”

Services Safari: Delivering a Great Keynote Presentation Part 1 – The Delivery –“I know a person’s a bad speaker when I can imagine my 14-year, with absolutely no advance preparation, could be way more entertaining with the same material.”

Nury Vittachi: — I got the public speaking blues — “I know about these things. Somewhere on earth there is an “Institute of Introducers” at which citizens have all detectable grey matter surgically removed. They are then released back into the wild as certified Masters of Ceremonies.”

Web Strategy by Jeremiah: Fail Fast — “I screw up a lot, always have, always will, but what matters is what I do next. My first presentation to a Forrester client was a total F-up.”

Indexed: A real spectacle. –“Sweating, staring, crowds.”

Make Your Point with Pow’R: Pre-Presentation Speaking — “Remember to speak before your presentation. In some cases, even before you arrive at the venue.”

Jessica Hatchigan’s speechwriting blog: Time Matters: Scheduling Your CEO’s Speeches “Do you have the option to choose the time of day your CEO will deliver his/her speech?”

Great Public Speaking: Public Speaking : SEATING TIPS

Linkedin Answers: The Un-Planned question – the impromtu – throws the best of us, but what are the toughest situations you find yourself confronted with?

9 Months to birthing my BESTSELLER!: Two Words that Make Most Audiences Cringe! — “Which brings me to the last lesson. Do Not, I repeat DO NOT do what I did (you’d have to be really brave or crazy!) Do not use language that will turn some or most of the audience against you!” (Slightly NSFW image)

Charli Jane Speaker Services: Top 10 ‘do nots’ when working with meeting planners.